OSHA Strengthens Local Emphasis on Hazardous Chemical Compliance

Omaha Area Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a brand-new local emphasis program that will introduce regular health inspections at funeral homes, product and chemical manufacturing facilities, printing facilities and various outpatient care centers. According to Bonita Winingham, the local OSHA director, this new program will allow the agency to place some much-needed additional concentration on industries most likely to use hazardous chemicals, better ensuring the safety of workers in those industries. 

The region had previously been operating on a local emphasis program that was going to expire in September, but this latest announcement by the region’s OSHA office indicates the program had been renewed and will now include greater levels of focus on these specific industries. 

The types of chemicals that will be of major focus in these investigations include formaldehyde, benzene and methylene chloride. Each of these chemicals has been shown to have a number of health risks associated with them, which made it a priority for OSHA to mandate these investigations and ensure that the chemicals were being used and handled with care. Regulations that will be handed down in this new local emphasis program will include limits on the amount of time workers are exposed to these chemicals, various monitoring requirements and, in some circumstances, medical surveillance components. 

The local emphasis program was originally meant to increase the likelihood of inspecting certain establishments in industries that make regular use of hazardous chemicals. This expansion of the program should help improve the overall safety of workers in those industries. Facilities may also choose to self-inspect and check how their company safety policies, training and other procedures align with OSHA standards. In this way, they can ensure their compliance before a local investigation might be triggered. 

If you believe that your organization has violated the terms of OSHA’s hazardous chemical regulations, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers right away.